Amateur athletes throughout B.C. will be able to engage in more organized sport activities and some competitive play this fall as the province moves to Phase 3 of the Return to Sport Guidelines.
Under the latest phase, amateur sport activities may be able to engage in:
* additional training opportunities;
* modified games and matches and
* league play and competitions within sport cohorts.
The BC Centre for Disease Control has reviewed viaSport's Return to Sport Guidelines for Phase 3.
The guidelines contain recommendations for how different types of sports now can progressively add activities back again while continuing to adhere to current public health recommendations.
This new guidance addresses contact activities, cohorts, competitions, high-performance training environments and travel.
"I know athletes and their families have been missing the joy of competition these past few months," said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
"viaSport has done a great job working with health officials and our amateur sport organizations to ensure we can safely and gradually return to game play. I encourage everyone - players, parents, coaches and volunteers - to continue to work together to make sure we can play and compete safely."
Team play and friendly competition are at the “heart of amateur sport," said Charlene Krepiakevich, chief executive officer, viaSport.
"Now, as we enter Phase 3, we will start to see more sport activities in communities around the province.
“While these guidelines offer key parameters for the increase in sport activity, each sport will advance at a different pace depending on community capacity and readiness.”
In June 2020, viaSport released its Return to Sport Guidelines to support the amateur sport sector through the careful and gradual restarting of sports in B.C. communities.
With Phase 3, each provincial sport organization can use the overarching guidelines to develop or revise its sport-specific plans. To date, 60 organizations have completed their return to play plans.
viaSport British Columbia is a not-for-profit organization, created with the support of the provincial government in 2011.
It leads the province's sport sector to build a stronger, more effective system that brings more families to the field of play, more fans into the stands, more athletes to the podium and more sports events to the province.
Return to Sport Guidelines are available at https://www.viasport.ca/sites/default/files/ReturntoSportGuidelines.pdf